Jail sentence after ‘atrocious behaviour’ at Derry hospital

District Judge Barney McElholm has jailed a man at Derry Magistrate’s Court for what he described as ‘an absolutely disgraceful incident’ in Altnagelvin Hospital where the man urinated in public on three occasions.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 3:33 pm
Altnagelvin Hospital. DER2126GS - 135

Paul Farren (31) of no fixed abode admitted charges of indecent behaviour and disorderly behaviour at Altnagelvin Hospital, assaulting police and resisting police on July 3 this year.

The court heard that police were called to the hospital after reports of a drunk person being verbally abusive towards staff. When police arrived Farren was asleep but some time later police were called again and told that Farren had woken up and was being abusive to staff again. They were told that Farren had urinated in front of members of the public and he was arrested. As he was being arrested he became ‘highly irate’ and kicked an officer in the face and resisted police.

Farren was also in breach of his bail conditions.

Defence counsel Sean Doherty said this was ‘atrocious behaviour’ aggravated by the location it occurred in. He said the only thing he could say in mitigation was that Farren had pleaded guilty at an early opportunity.

Judge McElholm said that Farren had urinated ‘not once but three times’ on one occasion on a hospital bed thus rendering it unusable. He said that was disgraceful at a time when people were queuing up to try and get hospital beds.

He said this was ‘self-centred disgraceful behaviour’ by Farren and that he refuses to do anything about his drinking.

The judge was told Farren was already serving a 16 month prison sentence and so on this matter he imposed a sentence of 5 months but made it consecutive with the 16 months.

He said this type of behaviour in hospital will be ‘severely punished on each and every occasion.”